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Topics - chittlins

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General Silver Dollar City Talk / B&M now does family inverted coasters
« on: January 20, 2014, 01:30:23 PM »
Appearenty one is going up in China. That's a way to get around the Vekoma  issue for a ride of this type.

Random Talk / Dogpatch Documintree
« on: December 20, 2013, 09:28:09 PM »
via the U of A.

It was uploaded three years ago, maybe it's been posted.  Man, have things changed since it faded away in terms of demographics of the region and the development of the highway system, though 412 is still has a long way to go.

From a weather friend: here's the snowfall coverage for Christmas Day model:

It's going to get in the 50's next mid week but on Friday before Christmas the bottom falls out again.

Branson Talk / Branson Tourism Up
« on: October 13, 2013, 02:59:57 PM »

Branson tourism rides high; cites weather, flights

By John Magsam

Posted: October 13, 2013 at 3:43 a.m.
Print item

It’s been a good year so far for Branson tourism.

The city reports the first nine months of collections of its tourism taxes for 2013 are the highest since 2010. The city’s sales-tax numbers for the first nine months are sitting at record highs.

Garret Anderson, the city’s director of economic development, said mild summer weather, new attractions like the Outlaw Run roller coaster at Silver Dollar City and direct service by Southwest Airlines to the Branson Airport were all factors in the strong tax collections.

In February 2012, a tornado skipped through the city. While no one was killed, the twister heavily damaged several major hotels and entertainment venues in the city’s downtown and along the entertainment strip.

So far this year, Branson’s various tourism taxes have brought in $7.8 million, up 6.8 percent from $7.3 million in 2012. In a month-to-month comparison, the city reported losses compared with 2012 in the first three months of the year but showed double-digit gains in three months when compared to last year - a 10.7 percent gain in March, 16.9 percent in May and 14.8 percent in September.

The total numbers are the second-highest in the last five years for the period, coming in below $7.9 million gathered in 2010. During the last decade, the city’s high for the first nine months of the year came in 2008 with $8.31 million, just before the national recession hit full force.

Collections of the city’s 1 percent sales tax were $8.6 million for the first nine months of 2013, up 3.6 percent, compared to the previous year and a record for the period, according to data provided by the city.

Anderson noted 2012 not only saw the tornado but also a blistering hot summer that likely hurt some outdoor attractions. He said 2013 saw a rainy first part of the year that probably benefited indoor attractions, while the spring and summer were mild, making spending time outdoors more appealing.

“Everybody seemed to do well,” he said.

Lisa Rau, a spokesman for the Silver Dollar City amusement park, said the year started out slow, with snow in early May dampening attendance figures. But this year’s addition of the wooden roller coaster Outlaw Run, which opened in March, has helped push attendance up by 103,000 so far this year, compared with the same time last year. The park averages 1.7 to 1.9 million visitors each year.

“Outlaw Run has been an amazing addition this year,” she said, predicting the park may see 2 million visitors by years’ end if the weather cooperates.

Rau said while most of the park’s visitors come from the Springfield, Mo. area, the Fort Smith and Fayetteville areas rank second for number of visitors who come to the park. She said through Oct. 5, the park has seen 123,000 visitors from the Fort Smith and Fayetteville areas, up by 4,000; 70,000 visitors from Little Rock, up by 3,000; and 11,000 from Jonesboro, up by 1,000, when compared with last year.

Joe David Rice, tourism director for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, said statewide Arkansas’ collections for the Tourism Trust Fund through July are $7.75 million, up nearly 5 percent compared to $7.4 million in 2012.

“It was a mixed bag,” Rice said of the Arkansas collections in the Northwest corner of the state near Branson.

Benton County, home of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, collected nearly $819,000 through July, up 12.2 percent compared with last year, while Washington County collected a little more than $488,000, down 3.6 percent. Carroll County, home of touristy Eureka Springs, collected nearly $356,000 for the period, down less than 1 percent.

Rice said the state spends money advertising in Branson, touting the fun and beauty to be found in Arkansas, to lure travelers who go there to cross the border.

Mike Maloney, director of the Eureka Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, says his city sees a lot of tourist traffic come from Branson. He said the city is having a good year for tourism tax collections but saw a breakout August, collecting $123,485 for the month in various tourism taxes, an increase of 19 percent compared to August of 2012. He said the area is becoming more of a regional tourist destination with the addition of Crystal Bridges.

“Where did they all come from? We don’t know, but we’re glad to have them here,” Maloney said.

When asked about Branson’s success, he pointed to the advantage it has with the city’s airport acting as a regional hub for low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines.

“That a huge asset for them to have in their own back yard,” Maloney said.

In March, Southwest Airlines began service into Branson. Branson Airport offers two nonstop Southwest daily flights to Chicago and daily flights to Dallas and Houston.Branson Airport is the nation’s only privately owned commercial airport. In a statement, Rachel Wood, deputy director of marketing and air service development at the airport, said the three cities are key hubs that connect travelers to many additional markets with a single stop.

She said the low-cost of airfare, often called the “Southwest Effect,” is bringing more and more visitors to Branson.

Silver Dollar City’s Rau noted the airport brings more first-time visitors to Branson, and first-time visitors are the key to continued growth for the city’s tourism businesses. She said visitor patterns show that as many as 80 percent of those who come to Branson choose to return.

General Silver Dollar City Talk / 103,000 More
« on: October 13, 2013, 02:55:22 PM »
According to  SDC Spokesperson Lisa Rau, is the increase in attendance this year so far in an article today in the Democrat Gazette. They are optimistic about getting to 2 mi on the year with good weather here on out. The whole article is about Branson's increase in sales tax revenue this year of 3.6% over last year. That's after two consecutive years of decline since 2010.

There's a post on the Branson page about it.

In other news, saw where Pigeon Forge is getting a Margaretville restaurant and hotel

Branson would boom IMO with more diversity in attractions.

Random Talk / Hottest Football Game You Ever Attended?
« on: September 01, 2013, 07:13:24 PM »
By Far, Yesterday in Fayetteville was mine. It was brutal.

We have been involved with one of the nanotech companies by doing testing for them.

Reeves tells me that the University of Arkansas has actually won more business plan competitions than any other university in the country.

In the last five years, nearly 300 startups have launched in northwest Arkansas

"Silicon Valley is great for the tech world. [But] if your business deals with retail or consumer products or supply chain logistics, then this is the place to be,"

General Silver Dollar City Talk / Why doesn't SDC do haunts?
« on: August 01, 2013, 09:42:37 PM »
Didn't know SDC once had a Haunted House until I read the thread my MoOzark looking for photos of it.

Random Talk / US Marshals Museum targets 2016 opening
« on: June 28, 2013, 10:05:27 PM »
Fundraising seems to be picking up steam and this looks like it's going to actually happen

Ol' Rooster might be pleased.

Random Talk / Discovery Park of America
« on: June 28, 2013, 09:41:25 PM »
Family that owns the Kirklands retail store is behind this in their hometown of Union City Tenn.

It appears awesome and will be located by the future I-69 that will go on down to Memphis and Tunica and then cross over into Arkansas to El Dorado to Sheveport.

Random Talk / more geeky population stats about area
« on: May 29, 2013, 08:57:27 AM »
Some figures about region:

Fort Smith - NWA (Benton, Washington, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, Sebastian, AR; McDonald, MO; Sequoyah, LeFlore, OK) - 784,000
Springfield - Branson (Greene, Dallas, Polk, Webster, Christian, Stone, Taney, MO) - 527,000
Shreveport - Texarkana (Caddo, Bossier, Webster, LA; Bowie, TX; Miller, AR) - 565,000
Jackson - Vicksburg (Hinds, Warren, Madison, Simpson, Rankin, Copiah, MS) - 594,000
Wichita - Hutchinson (Sedgwick, Harvey, Sumner, Butler, Cowley, Reno, KS) - 725,000
Des Moines - Ames (Polk, Dallas, Warren, Guthrie, Madison, Story, Boone, Jasper, Marion, IA) - 773,000

Branson Talk / New website centers on 76 corridor improvements
« on: May 16, 2013, 08:16:31 AM »
It is

Saw it in the Ark DemoGaz this morning.

Random Talk / SDC and NWA
« on: March 14, 2013, 06:27:21 PM »
I'm sure that SDC loves that NWA keeps growing at around 2% every year. Some stats were released this week and actually caught some folks off guard  in just how much it's growing.

Some numbers:

The urbanized area of NWA is now just under 300,000 (that's not MSA area which is larger). NWA will now become a Transportation Management Area with more control over how federal funds for transportation are used in the area.

Forbes Magazine ranked the Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers area as the second-best area in the United States for recovery from the current United States recession.

Now, that's for 2012. Home sales in 2013 is really taking off again, some are saying you may see total numbers like those before the 08 recession. I've been urged to apply to serve on our planning commission here in Fayetteville but I just don't have the time. But, my friend is the Chair right now and he's seeing subdivision plats coming up again in agenda meetings.

Add the Ft. Smith area into the mix and  you now have 730,000 from one end of the I-540 corridor

I don't know the growth for the Springfield area but it's MSA was around 470,000 for 2010.

As you can see, SDC is enjoying an increasing next door base to pull from in addition to the tourism aspect. This is becoming a home park as much as a tourist destination. You likely see this effect in the increases in attendance during Spring Break and why it opened March 15.

This is great news for our SDC's future.

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